Yesterday recipe for Christmas gift baking. Today, I’m posting a recipe for some entirely selfish Christmas baking (knitting posts will resume shortly, I promise!).
These brownies are ri.di.cu.lous.
Rich and dense and intensely chocolatey, they are one teeny tiny tippie toe away from being fudge. A true Christmas indulgence. Now, I’m an equal opportunities brownie lover – I’ll take them blonde, brown, cakey or fudgy. But if I had to choose… if I had to choose, fudgy would be it. And these are well and truly in the fudgy camp. Yum.
Like yesterday’s Russian tea cakes, these are a Christmas staple in my house, although I’m too selfish to gift them (although I sometimes get into the holiday spirit and cut a couple of slices for people who pop round!). According to the date on the recipe print out, I’ve been making these since 2006 and I don’t think I’ve missed a single year. These brownies are very much a highlight in my baking year. I’ve googled and googled, and I can’t find the website that I originally found the recipe on, although Google did throw up this, which seems to be a newspaper article of the exact same recipe I have. The article includes quite a sweet backstory to the recipe, so it’s worth a look if you’re anything like me and love reading “behind” the recipe.
Candy Cane Brownies
adapted from a recipe by J.M. Hirsch
(makes 9 generous servings)
1½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain flour
¾ cup (150g) unsalted butter
350g chocolate, chopped (I use a combination of milk and dark)
⅔ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see how to make your own vanilla extract here)
½ cup (120ml) warm milk
10 crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to Gas mark 4/180°C
- Grease a 20cm/8inch square baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, salt and flour. Set aside.
- In a double boiler combine the butter and half of the chopped chocolate. Melt, stirring often, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and milk. Add this to the chocolate and cocoa mixture and whisk well to combine.
- Fold in the flour mixture, and then stir in the remaining chopped chocolate and the crushed candy canes, reserving 2 tablespoons of the candy canes for sprinkling.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon of the reserved crushed candy canes.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out covered with cakey biys. The centre of the brownie should look set. I like the surface of my brownie to be nice and crisp to give a nice contrast to the soft fudginess underneath.
- Dust the top of the brownies with the remaining crushed candy canes, then cool completely before serving.
I’ll be leaving a piece of this out for Santa tonight. Hope you all have a lovely Christmas!